Sometimes I’ll have a day when I don’t want to practice the guitar, I just want to play the guitar. I found out a long time ago, that it is sometimes better to just twang around or doodle on the guitar than not to pick up it up at all. This article is not about replacing your regular practice schedule, it is a little rescue approach on those tougher days, where you are finding it a little difficult to get motivated.
Some days, just the sound of the word “practice” may turn your eyes away from the guitar. You know where your guitar is, but you just don’t want to look there. On those days, I just forget about the word “practice” and I just play the guitar.
Very often, I just sit in front of the TV or my computer, watch some movies and play the guitar. What is important however, is that I only play the things that I know very well, things like; chord progressions, scales, arpeggios … The goal is not to learn, the goal is to be in touch with my guitar and have fun. The great thing is that I still keep my fingers in a good shape and I still do something musical.
After a while of playing the guitar like that, I may actually feel like practicing. It can somehow trick your mind by pretending that you are practicing. If it works for me, maybe it will work for you 🙂 Recently, many of my “playing sessions” have turned into proper practicing sessions, but even when they haven’t, the job is still done. I made contact with my instrument and that is what counts. Of course, I can’t have too many days of just playing the guitar, I would not learn anything new.
But I found a solution to that. Let’s say there is a very cool guitar lick that I want to learn. I would memorise the first few notes, then I would put my movie on and practice those notes watching the movie at the same time. It doesn’t feel like practicing at all, it is still fun. After a while, I would pause the movie, learn another few notes, put the movie back on and try to connect the new notes with the notes I learned before. This is a really cool way of learning guitar licks. And the good thing is, it doesn’t feel like practicing, as I still have fun watching TV.
This really is an emergency practice routine, but it does do one thing – it keeps you in good musical shape.
Now grab your guitar, put your TV on and have some fun 🙂
P.S. Don’t over practice this approach!